Ronni Chasen Killing: Botched Robbery was Random Act of Violence

Article Placeholder Image
By Tanya Roth, Esq. on December 10, 2010 5:50 AM

The dark movie that was the story of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen's death is coming to an end.

Police now believe ex-con Harold Martin Smith, who shot himself when police approached him in the lobby of his apartment building last week, was indeed Chasen's killer. Far from being a complex scheme or a professional hit as some had speculated, the killing is now said to have been a robbery gone wrong.

Simple as that. Sad as that.

Although police are now convinced that Smith acted alone in what they believe was a robbery, questions remain, reports The Los Angeles Times. The preliminary ballistics tests from Smith's gun do indicate it was the same weapon used to fire several bullets into Chasen's head and chest as she drove home from a movie premiere party on November 16.

Los Angeles police are still hoping to view footage from nearby security cameras, as well as any available private footage, although they do not yet know if any of it will show the shooting. Investigators believe that Ronni Chasen was stopped at a stoplight on Sunset Blvd. when Smith pulled along-side on his bike.

Smith, who had been evicted from his apartment and was wanted on a charge of violating his probation, "was at a desperate point and was reaching out and doing desperate measures," Det. Sgt. Michael Publicker told The Times. Chasen's purse was still in the car when she was found and there is no evidence as of now that Smith ever entered the car.

Police are calling the investigation 60-70 percent complete.

Related Resources: